Perak Darul Ridzuan, the Land of Grace, covers an area of 21,000 square kilometres and has a population of about two million.
The state is divided into nine districts and its major towns include lpoh, Kuala Kangsar, Taiping, Teluk Intan and Lumut. Kuala Kangsar
is the royal town of Perak, while lpoh is the administrative centre and state capital.
There are several versions as to the origin of Perak. Some say that
the name "PERAK" came from Bendahara Tun Perak of Malacca
while some say that it came from the "glimmer of fish in the
water" that sparkled like silver, or Perak as it is known in
Malay. Therefore, the mere mention of the state's name will reflect
the treasures hidden in its earth.
The Perak State, in actual fact, has been in existence since the
prehistoric age. Kota Tampan in Lenggong is the one and only proof
that the Palaeolithic Age existed in Malaya. The Perak State went
through numerous evolutions between 400 000 BC and 8000 BC.
The state had experienced the Hoabinhian Era and the Neolithic
Age as well as the Metal Age, which was proven with the findings
of relevant ancient artifacts.
Then came the Hindu/Buddha era. It was thought to have occured
simultaneously with the rest of Malaya.
After this period, the history of the state advanced a step further
with the formation of minor territories such as Manjung in the Dinding
District and Beruas which came into existence after Manjung ceased
to exist. This also apply to a few other territories in the Perak
Tengah and Hulu Perak. It was also then that Islam began to plant
its roots firmly in the state.
Historically Perak's history actually began with the installation
of Sultan Muzaffar Shah 1, who was a descendent of Sultan Mahmud
Shah of Malacca, in the year 1528. Although the Perak Sultanate
had formed the territorial powers were still in effect. The administrative
method was an extension of the democratic feudal system of Malacca.
Perak became more prominent with the discovery of tin in Larut,
Taiping in 1848 by Long Jaafar. With this discovery, Perak's economy
boomed and more mining areas were brought into existence. In addition
to tin ore, natural rubber also played an important role and is
still being planted after the reign of 33 or 34 consecutive Sultans.
Due to this significant implication of economic development resulted
in the birth of a multiracial society especially with the introduction
of the Chinese into the mining area.
The British who had long been interested Perak, intervened through
the Pangkor Treaty in 1874 after a riot in Larut. As a result of
this intervention, the Residential system was introduced with James
W.W Birch as its first Resident.
Initially, the Residential system was supposed to yield positive
results. However, because it deviated from its original cause, compled
with the natives' refused to be colonized led to an uprising against
the Resident under the leadership of Datuk Maharaja Lela. As a result
J.W.W Birch was assassinated in 1875.
The Residential system continued until the arrival of the Japanese
to Malaya in 1941. The Perak State also suffered, as did others,
during the Japanese occupation of Malaya until the year 1945.
Even after the Japanese surrendered, the British still colonized
Malaya until the year 1948. Violence was rampant then in Perak,
due to Communist terrorism.
After the Japanese occupation in Malaya, the Malay States were
not stable. The British did their utmost best to maintain their
position by introducing new administration systems such as the Malayan
Union in 1946, despite the people's nasionalistic spirit to seek
The people of Malaya combined their efforts with all state dignitaries
to fully rebel against all British systems. They continuesly oppressed
until the British granted Malaya independence in 1957.
The independence of Malaya meant the freedom for all its Federated
States, which Perak was a part of. Rapid development in all fields
continued until today, after the reign of 34 consecutive Sultans.